Shortly before President Donald Trump took the stage on Sunday night in Henderson, Nevada for his first indoor rally in months, the state’s governor Steve Sisolak blasted the president for flouting the state’s coronavirus restrictions by packing hundreds of supporters, many without masks, into a building.
The Democratic governor noted that Trump and his campaign were violating Nevada’s ban on gatherings of 50 people or more, tweeting that the president’s rally at Xtreme Manufacturing was “shameful, dangerous and irresponsible.”
“Tonight, President Donald Trump is taking reckless and selfish actions that are putting countless lives in danger here in Nevada,” the governor said. “The President appears to have forgotten that this country is still in the middle of a global pandemic.”
The indoor rally, which featured maskless supporters standing shoulder-to-shoulder inside the industrial facility, came as the United States surpasses 190,000 dead. In Nevada, where Trump held multiple events over the weekend, there have been more than 73,500 cases and more than 1450 deaths related to the virus.
Sunday’s rally followed a campaign event last week in Winston-Salem, NC, in which Trump mocked pandemic restrictions by not wearing a mask and jeered at the state’s restrictions against outdoor gatherings of more than 50 people.
Trump campaign spokesman Tim Murtaugh rejected criticism of the rally, with the campaign noting that rally attendees were subject to a temperature check, had access to hand sanitiser, and were provided masks and encouraged to wear them.
He said if other Americans could “burn down small businesses in riots”, then Trump supporters could gather to hear him speak.
Joe Biden’s campaign was also quick to bash the president for holding sizable rallies that violate states’ public health rules. The Democratic nominee has maintained a more socially-distanced campaign, following the guidelines of public health experts, said Mike Gwin, a Biden campaign spokesman.
“Every rally turned superspreader event Donald Trump decides to hold serves as another reminder to Americans that Trump still refuses to take this pandemic seriously and still doesn’t have a plan to stop it, even after nearly 200,000 deaths and untold economic damage,” Gwin said in a statement.